We’ve all been there – You plan an outstanding lesson, activity, and then crush the delivery. But it never fails that you have fast finishers raising their hands 30 seconds later saying, “I’m done! I’m done! What do I do now?”. Or, you’re 5 minutes away from your next transition as a class and desperately need something to keep everyone’s attention.
I have found that preparing and locating effective time fillers can be more tedious than any single lesson planning. A time filler that can accommodate different abilities, doesn’t require a substantial amount of supplies or clean-up time, and also doesn’t disturb or distract other students is ideal. Well, at least not distract totally. Of course, kindergarteners are always a little distracted. 🙂
Here are a few time filler activities that can be completed together to get you to that next transition, or just a little something for fast finishers to complete on their own!
I Spy Alphabet
Students can stay at their seats or you can move everyone to the carpet – up to you! The first student will start with the letter A and identify something in the room that starts with that letter. As you move through the alphabet, you can always add questions about consonant and vowel sounds in each word to create more of a challenge.
You can mix this up by doing “I spy a word that rhymes with…” or play with shapes, too!
This is a great option if your class has the wiggles and needs a quick stretch while staying on task! Let each student choose a sight word to spell and model how to spell it with their whole body. Each student can lead the class in how to spell the word when it’s their turn, or you can model the motions yourself.
For example – hat. H (arms above your head like signaling a field goal), A (arms above your head with your fingertips touching), T (arms completely out to your sides). It’s a great way for kids to make genuine connections to each letter while incorporating gross motor movements. They’ll also probably get a real kick out of coming up with silly movements for some letters. 🙂
If you have a student who is shy, they could pick a buddy to spell the word with them!
I love fun seasonal printables and students do, too! You can snag my free Thanksgiving bundle of activities here! The activities are math and ELA based with a variety of skills covered in each subject area!
Task cards are also one of my favorite go-to’s that are low prep. These Counting Forward Task Cards can be used as a whole group time filler or with individual students if you’d like to use the recording sheet that aligns with the cards. My favorite and the quickest way to use them as a whole class is to simply hold each card up or under a document camera and let the class answer aloud. You can also divide the class into two lines and have the front two people each try to guess first!
I also have 0-5 addition and subtraction cards available in this same format with individual problems on each card! They’re a great way to build automaticity for basic addition facts!
Reuse Morning Work Activities
And lastly, you can reuse morning work tub activities! If you already have the tubs created and the supplies available in your classroom, it’s super simple to pull out individual activities that students can work on depending on their own specific skills they need more practice on. These November tub activities focus on skills related to number sense, counting, creating shapes, letters, and there are even some mini puzzles.
What are your favorite go-to time fillers? Share in the comments below!